x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Montgomerie backs Olazabal for next Ryder Cup captain

The outgoing European captain wants Jose Maria Olazabal to lead the Ryder Cup winners in Chicago.

Colin Montgomerie says winning the Ryder Cup was one of the proudest moments in his career.
Colin Montgomerie says winning the Ryder Cup was one of the proudest moments in his career.

NEWPORT, WALES // Colin Montgomerie wants Jose Maria Olazabal to succeed him as European Ryder Cup captain - and Olazabal wants to do it. 

Montgomerie has confirmed that he will be stepping down after what he called "the greatest and proudest moment of my career" - the nail-biting one-point victory over the US at Celtic Manor on Monday. "This is a one hit - I will not be doing this again," he said. 

"I think it's only right that it should be shared around."

Later, asked about who will take over for Chicago in 2012, Montgomerie replied: "I do hope Jose Maria will be well enough to be the next captain. 

"He did brilliantly as one of my assistants here and it was also only right that we had a picture of him and Seve (Ballesteros) in our team room and then at the closing ceremony. 

"It was between him and me for the captaincy this time and in two years' time he'll be 46, just a year younger than I am now."

Olazabal and Ballesteros formed the best partnership in Ryder Cup history, losing only two of 15 games together, and both played their part in last week's victory. 

Ballesteros, battling brain cancer, was linked up to the team from his home in Spain and gave them inspiration, even calling on them to "go get them so hard that they'll all be caddies in the future." 

Olazabal, Nick Faldo's vice-captain two years ago, joined the backroom staff only on Saturday. He has played only once this year because of his continuing fight with rheumatism, but is due to return to action at the Castello Masters later this month.

"I would love to do it," he said. "It all depends on my physical situation, but it's much better than it was a few months ago." 

* Press Association